I am planning a trip over Xmas to visit Andalucia, flying from Paris with my mom. I would like to visit the Moor architecture, see a few museum, walk around the cities, and relax.
Do you have any suggestion as an itinerary to optimize the travel time btwn the cities, or even drop one if I have to, if that doesn't make sense to try and cram all 3 at once? I am considering flying in/out to Malaga or Granada, Cordoba or Seville, and use train/bus to connect. I am open also to rent a car if parking is somewhat easy.
Any good tip for city sights & accommodation are welcome :)
thanks for your help!
I would fly into Seville, and spend two nights there. Walk along the river, see the bull ring, La Maestranza, and walk over the bridge to where the working class people live in Triana. Walk to Plaza de España. Spend a couple of hours in the Seville Cathedral and of course tour the Royal Alcázar of Seville. I highly recommend you eat at least one meal at Ovejas Negras. I would also have a meal at Bar Estrella (great chulitas and old school local food).
Next, I would train to Córdoba. It's about a 40 minute train ride from Seville. I would spend one night there as you get a lot of bang for your buck price wise. Some fabulous restaurants and you can walk the city in about one day. Again, walk along the river to the Bridge. You must spend a couple of hours in the Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba, and again if you walk the streets near the mosque there are many wonderful restaurants (I liked Taberna Luque and Taberna Restaurante Bodegas Mezquitataberna restaurante bodegas) and shops. You can buy beautiful silver jewelry in Cordoba, they are known for handcrafted jewelry.
I would take the two hour train ride and spend my final there days in Granada. Book the Alhambrabefore you go. That will take at least a half a day. If you want to do something touristy, catch a gypsy flamenco show. Personally, with three days, I would spend a lot of time walking around the city. Walk up the hill to Sacromonte. There is a really cool gypsy museum that we stumbled upon while walking up one of the streets. They have a little village that shows what gypsy life was like and you walk through the caves. It's very inexpensive and it was actually interesting. If you have to pick one Cathedral I would go to the cathedral in Sevilla and skip the cathedral in Granada. And of course, every late afternoon and evening I would tapayar. Make sure to go to Taberna La Tana. It is run by a brother and sister. He is a Sommelier and they have fabulous free food when you buy a well priced glass of wine. Try Restaurante Oliver, also great tapas and make sure to have some chocolate and churros. After all that walking , you may want to take a soak and get a massage at the Hammam Al Ándalus Granada - Baños Arabes. Make sure to eat alot of jamon.
You need to budget time for flying with this itinerary, as you would first have to fly into Barcelona or Madrid and take a hopper flights on Vueling or another cheap airline.
Whatever you do, you can't go wrong. Andalusia is beautiful and memorable. The people are kind and hospitable. Have a great time.
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Carefully consider rent a car in these cities; parking might be difficult and some hotel parking lots are underground which sometimes could be very tight to maneuver and park, usually hotel employees can assist you to park your car in those tight spaces but not always. In Cordoba if you stay close to the mosque you have almost everything at walking distance. Also I went three years ago and if you show up before 9:00 am in the mosque you get in for free but ask the day before.
I just did an identical itinerary to yours this past summer!
I bussed into Malaga and spent the day/night there then headed to Granada the next day, where I spent 3 nights. Then I did 2 nights in Cordoba and 2 nights in Seville.
You can see what I did and ate in each city by clicking on specific blog posts and scrolling to the bottom of each post. I did summaries for each city with specific details :)
Malaga: More of a beach / shopping town. I was a bit underwhelmed with the one day I here and I doubt it will be lively in the winter.
Granada: My favorite city hands down. 3 full days is a good amount of time here as you'll likely spend most of one day at the Alhambra (book tickets ahead of time) and spend some time seeing Albayzin, Sacromonte and more.
Córdoba is quite small and if you spent 2 days here it would be more than enough to see everything at a relaxed pace...maybe even a day and a half. The Cathedral-Mosque of Córdoba is not to be missed!
Seville: my second favorite city. Relaxed amount of time here would be 3 days but I did it in 2 (I had a friend driving me around the second day though). Worth it visit the Triana neighborhood if you have time.
I used buses and Blablacar for all my transportation and it worked out really well. I went from Malaga > Granada > Cordoba > Seville and flew out of Seville, so there's definitely an airport there if you don't want to book round trip from the same place.
Have fun! You're going to love it!
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